Hot flashes can be very stressful for a lot of women and very debilitating. Some women unable to take the hot flashes away but there are some techniques to occur them less frequently.

Overview

When you are experiencing a range of feelings in the upper body, then it is considered as a hot flash. It occurs mostly in the following parts of the body. These includes

  • Over the face
  • Neck
  • Chest

Your skin color becomes red when you are blushing and you will experience a lot of sweat too. Hot flashes will become very annoying as it can interfere with your daily activities. You will lose too much heat from your body and make you feel chilled afterward. If you are experiencing sweat at night, then it is called night sweats and due to this, you will experience sleep disturbances.

People experience hot flashes due to the medication they are taking. Some drugs are the main cause of hot flashes. So, if you are experiencing this condition while you are on medication, we would advise you to stop using that medication and discuss it with your primary care provider. There is a time your periods will become irregular and stop gradually. Those people have higher chances of experiencing hot flashes. It is one of the indicators of the menopausal transition. We would advise people not to worry about this condition as there are a variety of treatment options available for bothersome hot flashes. It has been observed in research that taking acupuncture treatment can ease the symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats.

What are the indicators of hot flashes?

Feelings of nervousness, fast heartbeat, red, blotchy flushed appearances on your skin, experiencing chilled feelings, perspirations, and a sudden feeling of warmth to your body parts mostly chest neck and face are the symptoms of hot flashes.

No women feel all the above symptoms and it varies from one woman to another. Sometimes, women experience mild symptoms and sometimes very intensely that can interfere with your daily activities. There is no particular time for these symptoms to attack your body and these symptoms can happen at any time. It doesn’t matter whether it is a day or night. The most irritating situation of suffering from hot flashes is night sweats. You are not able to sleep when this happens and gives you nightmares.

People who are experiencing menopause also affected by hot flashes as it is the most common indicator of menopause. It is not the sole reason that is contributing you to suffer from hot flashes and anyone can experience at some point in time. The duration of these symptoms may depend on what triggers them.

Have a word with your physician

It is not an easy task for you to lead your life with the symptoms of hot flashes as it can often interfere with your daily activities. We would advise you to visit your primary care provider when you are suffering from hot flashes. It is better for you to identify the symptoms before it becomes dangerous.

What are the causes of hot flashes?

The main cause of hot flashes is hormonal imbalances during menopause or after menopause. There is no evidence to prove this point that hormonal changes are the main cause of hot flashes. It has been observed in research that when your body thermostat becomes too sensitive due to the reduced levels of estrogen in your body can cause you to experience hot flashes.

Overuse of medications, spicy foods, spinal lesions, addiction to alcohol, chemotherapy, hot drinks, hyperthyroidism, too much caffeine in the body, first and second trimesters of pregnancy, staying in a warm room for longer periods, unable to quit smoking, and wearing tight clothes can trigger the condition.

Hot flashes can be the cause for many reasons and the above list is not comprehensive. Due to this reason, we would advise you to consult your physician if the symptoms don’t go away.

What are the risk factors of hot flashes?

Several risk factors contribute to having this condition. Menopause is not the only reason to experience hot flashes. The following are the factors that can increase your chances of getting diagnosed with this condition. These includes

Smoking

We would advise women who have a habit of smoking to stop immediately if they are experiencing the symptoms of hot flashes. Smoking is considered as the potential risk factor of hot flashes.

Obesity

Women who are suffering from obesity are more likely to develop this condition and it is also considered as one of the potential risk factors of hot flashes.

Race

Black women are more likely to develop this condition during menopause when compared with them to the women of other races. Asian women are less likely to develop this condition.

What are the complications of hot flashes?

People who are experiencing hot flashes may have to face a lot of problems as it interferes with their daily chores and it will reduce the quality of their life. Especially for the people who are experiencing night sweats due to hot flashes may suddenly wake from their sleep and if they don’t take any professional help then it can cause long-term sleep disturbances.

It has been observed in research that women can have a higher risk of getting diagnosed with heart disease and also experience greater loss of bones when compared to other women who are not diagnosed with this condition.

How are hot flashes diagnosed?

Your physician may diagnose your condition based on the symptoms you are experiencing. He or she may also recommend some blood tests in order to check whether you are in the menopausal transition. Blood tests can provide necessary information to the doctors.

What are the treatment options for hot flashes?

Your physician may recommend taking estrogen to get relief from the discomfort of hot flashes, but it is a risky process for the patient. Several medications can manage the symptoms of hot flashes and can also provide you a good night’s sleep.

We would advise you to discuss the treatment options with your health professional. If you think your daily activities are not affected by the hot flashes, then you don’t need any plan of action. For some women, hot flashes often go away without treatment. The following are the available treatment options for you to get relief from the condition. These includes

  • Hormone therapy
  • Antidepressants
  • Nerve block procedure
  • Lifestyle changes

Hormone therapy

In order to give you relief from the symptoms of hot flashes, your physician may suggest you take estrogen hormone. For the women, who have undergone a hysterectomy can take estrogen alone. But the women with the uterus, your physician may first out progesterone along with the estrogen to prevent cancer known as endometrial cancer. This cancer affects the lining of the uterus and may cause a lot of discomfort to you.

The main objective of this hormone therapy is to improve the quality of your life. Some women who have undergone this therapy experienced side-effects related to progesterone. If any women are at the risk of getting diagnosed with breast cancer or endometrial cancer should have a word with their healthcare provider before choosing this therapy.

Antidepressants

Food and drug administration approved many antidepressant drugs to reduce hot flashes. There are many medications that are available in the health stores may offer relief for some women.

Venlafaxine (Effexor XR), Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), Escitalopram (Lexapro), Gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise), Citalopram (Celexa), Clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay), Oxybutynin (Ditropan XL, Oxytrol), and Pregabalin (Lyrica) are some of the drugs that can be effective in reducing hot flashes.

The following are the possible side effects of using the above medications. These includes

  • Nausea
  • Getting difficulty in sleeping or unable to breath
  • Weight gain or loss of weight
  • Dry mouth
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Dizziness
  • Exhaustiveness
  • Water retention in the limbs
  • Unable to concentrate on the things
  • Dry eyes
  • Constipation

Nerve block procedure

This procedure is also called as stellate ganglian block and this procedure has shown some promising results and this procedure has the capability of treating mild to severe hot flashes. But, lots of studies need to be done to prove this point. Your surgeon may inject an anesthetic into a nerve cluster in the neck.

The following are the possible side effects of this procedure. These includes

  • Pain at the injection site
  • Bruising at the injected area

Lifestyle changes

Along with the above treatment, we would advise you to make some changes to your lifestyle. Women who are suffering from hot flashes might get relief from the symptoms of hot flashes by doing meditation and also by following breathing techniques. These lifestyle changes don’t quell your hot flashes, but these changes can manage the symptoms of hot flashes like giving you a good night’s sleep and allow you to identify what triggers the condition.

Conclusion

People experience hot flashes due to their increased heart rate and flushing. It can be stressful for a lot of women and very annoying. There are many medications and lifestyle changes that can help you to manage the symptoms of this condition. We would advise you to consult a physician if you don’t see any improvements in your condition after following home remedies and lifestyle changes.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27023860
  2. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2110996
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3448399/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16477892
  5. http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=414566
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12804015
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